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Radio ›› Jürg Frey: String Quartets
Jürg Frey: String Quartets
Streichquartett (1988), 10m49s [excerpt]
CD: Edition Wandelweiser Records (2006) EWR 0410

“Material can be anonymous. Consider, for example, the middle voices in medieval hymn books: unadorned, not artful, a simple handiwork, a leisurely alternation of single notes. It might be a scale, or, beyond music, the stones of a wall, not artfully stacked, but simply and properly, the formal idea being nothing other than that of a wall.

When I was working on the Streichquartett (1988), I encountered the painting of Agnes Martin. I saw clear-cut forms, not overgrown with rhetoric and figuration. Instead, sensuality, radiance and intensity gripped the entire space.

There was a kind of visibility to her art, which I felt corresponded to the audibility in my music. Audibility: the moment when sound waves move in space and the air touches the body. The eardrum is the sensory connection between the outside and the inside world: we hear the sound and the composition.

Over the years it became more and more clear to me, that there is no anonymous material — each material has its shape, and as soon as it exists in space and time, it carries a distinct handwriting. Anonymous material is rather an idea that brings the work to a point where concentration on what is essential becomes possible, and allows one to feel that he is starting from zero.” —Jürg Frey (English translation: Michael Pisaro)

Track Listing

    • 1
      Streichquartett (1988)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0
      10m55s
    • 2
      (Unbetitelt) Nr. 6 (1990-91)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0
      18m54s
    • 3
      Zwei allerletzte Sächelchen (1990)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0
      1m08s
      • 3
        Mailied
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0
        49s
      • 4
        Vorbei
        • 2.0
          • Stereo 2.0
        27s
    • 5
      Streichquartett 2 (1998-2000)
      • 2.0
        • Stereo 2.0
      28m59s
Total duration: 60m04s